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County Board advances $13M bond issuance for Bachman settlement
Posted By Staff On February 12, 2010 @ 9:37 am In Happening Now | No Comments
• News and notes from the Feb. 11 Winnebago County Board meeting
By Stuart R. Wahlin
Winnebago County Board members adopted an ordinance Feb. 11 providing for the issuance of $13 million in general obligation bonds to meet the county’s legal obligations resulting from a fatal traffic accident involving a sheriff’s deputy in 2006.
Brothers Aaron and D.J. Bachman were killed when Deputy Joseph Boomer’s squad car struck the vehicle they were traveling in. The accident also left their sister, Kori, permanently disabled.
The Bachmans were attempting to cross West State Street at Weldon Road when their vehicle was struck by Boomer, who was responding to a call at high speed, but without using flashing emergency lights or a siren.
In 2008, Boomer was acquitted of criminal charges, but the county was found liable in civil lawsuits filed by members of the Bachman family. As a result, the county has been ordered to pay $17 million in settlements.
Because the county’s insurance for such litigation only covered $4.75 million of the settlement costs, the $13 million bond issuance became necessary to pay the balance and related expenses.
During a Feb. 11 bond auction, Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley (M&I) Bank, the lowest of two bidders, offered an interest rate of 3.9281 percent. The overall interest cost for the county related to the bonds is $6,410,916.75, according to a report by Speer Financial, Inc., which conducted the auction. The county’s final installment on the debt is due Dec. 30, 2029, according to the payment schedule.
Comprehensive Financial Plan adopted
Board members unanimously approved a Comprehensive Financial Plan (CFP), the final component of the 2030 Land Resource Management Plan.
According to the document, “The goal of the CFP is to identify the financing mechanisms/options the county can use for future infrastructure growth, but organized in a manner that shows how said financing mechanisms correlate with the land use growth goals of the 2030 Plan.”
Those goals include preservation of farm land, quality housing through orderly and efficient development, promoting economic development in a manner which balances current and future economic needs and maintains a high quality of life, focusing on balanced-growth principles, preservation of natural resources, economically and environmentally sound planning and development of public utilities and facilities, responsible management of a transportation system for commerce and the public, and to develop state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure to attract high-tech employers.
Board members Steve Schultz (R-2) and Paul Gorski (D-5) received specific thanks from colleagues for their work developing the CFP.
Board settles eminent domain case
Board members agreed to the settlement of a 2008 eminent domain action taken against Donna Kummer’s property at 1058 Cerarus Drive in Rockford Township as part of the Bell School Road widening project.
Per the settlement agreed to by both parties, the county will pay $21,650 for the property acquisition, as well as place rocks along the westerly bank of a nearby creek for erosion control.
Dr. Allen Williams was appointed to a three-year term, expiring October 2012, on the Winnebago County Board of Health.
Philip E. Rubin was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Eugene Allen on the Greater Rockford Airport Authority. His term will expire in May 2014.
Winners of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Essay Contest were honored and presented with college scholarships. Zane Gilfillan, Mahalia Kahsay and Clarissa Kittoe were awarded $500, $750 and $1,000, respectively, for their winning essays.
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